Free haircuts at VIS

Published 9:53 am Wednesday, May 25, 2016

When Vicksburg Intermediate School held its awards program Tuesday, 20 of its fourth-grade students were sporting new haircuts and lookin’ good.

The 20 boys are the beneficiaries Monday of a free haircut program developed by Jasmine Wheatley, a fourth-grade teacher at the school, who decided getting the young men shorn of their shaggy locks for free might be just the thing to help them raise their self-esteem and feel better about themselves.

“It was a surprise to get my hair cut at school,” said student Jaiden McGloster. “It was my decision.”

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His twin brother Jamari had a different explanation when he said their mother made the decision.

“I was happy to have it done, but it was a bit shocking having my hair cut at school,” Jamari said.

Quentin Lawrence said his haircut was “all right,” adding his last haircut was in April.

Wheatley said she initially decided to offer the free haircuts to her class, “Because I thought some of the kids in my class would benefit from getting a haircut; it would help them feel better about themselves. I talk about morals and self-esteem in my class.”

But with the school’s annual awards day coming up, she thought it would be fitting that all fourth-grade boys have the opportunity to look their best.

“I thought I should go beyond my class and offer the free haircuts to all fourth-grade boys with their parents’ or guardian’s permission,” she said. “I made the permission slips in the same style I used for permission to go on a field trip.”

She got Marvin Ward, who owns Marvelous Kutz in Vicksburg, and his partner, Jeremy Bo Jackson, and barber Samuel Semi to come handle the trimming.

“Marvin and I were classmates (at Vicksburg High School), and Samuel’s son is in my class, so it was easy to get them to come,” she said.

Ward said it didn’t take much for him to agree. “I do charity programs; it’s my way of giving back (to the community).”

Although it is an inaugural event, Wheatley said, the idea has caught on quickly and plans are in the works to offer the free cuts twice a year.

“We had 20 this year; I hope it will grow each year,” she said.